Just announced today from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a new timeline for Meaningful Use Stage 2 and Stage 3. Although there has been speculation about delays in these two stages, this is the first real step to implement a new timeline. Highlighted below are some key points from the CMS announcement.
Meaningful Use proposed time changes:
- Stage 2 will be extended through 2016
- Stage 3 will begin in 2017 for those providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2
The goal of the change is two-fold:
- To allow CMS and the the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to focus efforts on the successful implementation of the enhanced patient engagement, interoperability and health information exchange requirements in Stage 2
- To utilize data from Stage 2 participation to inform policy decisions for Stage 3
All along, the objective of each Meaningful Use stage is:
- Stage 1: Creating information in electronic form
- Stage 2: Exchanging health information
- Stage 3: Focusing on improved outcomes
Impact on updated Meaningful Use rules:
In fall of 2014:
“…CMS will release of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Stage 3 and corresponding ONC NPRM for the 2017 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria will be released in the fall of 2014, which will outline further details for this proposed new timeline. The final rule with all requirements for Stage 3 would follow in the first half of 2015.”
Next steps for EHR Certification:
- Publish a proposed rule for a 2015 Edition of certification criteria to address issues and feedback from the 2014 edition and utilize updated standards and implementation guides to enhance interoperability.
- With this change, the 2015 Edition would be voluntary:
- Providers participating in the EHR Incentive Programs would not have to upgrade to 2015 Edition EHR technology
- EHR technology developers already certified using the 2014 Edition would not need to re-certify its products
With these proposed changes, many providers and vendors may welcome the added time to meet the criteria and continue implement the supporting technologies to make health care work in a more efficient and effective way.
What are your thoughts on the new timelines? Given the challenges with Healthcare.gov, will more time raise the opportunity for success? Join the conversation.
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